Paper is one of the few truly sustainable products

02/05/2018

Why Challenge anti-paper environmental marketing claims? 

Using carefully researched facts by TwoSides, DUPLO are exploring the truth about the sustainability of print and paper and supporting the organisation who are improving standards and practices and maximising customer confidence in print and paper products.

Many service providers are urging their customers to go paperless with claims that it will “save trees”, it is “greener” or it will otherwise “protect the environment”. These “go paperless” marketing messages ignore the unique sustainable features of print on paper, for example, it comes from a renewable resource; it is recyclable; it is one of the most recycled commodities in Europe; and a large portion of the energy used to produce paper comes from renewable biomass.

Claims like “save trees” create a false impression that forests are a finite resource, being destroyed. In truth, forests are a renewable resource that is continuously replenished using sustainable forest management practices.

Between 2005 and 2015, European forests grew by 44,000km2 - that’s an area bigger than Switzerland and amounts to over 1,500 football pitches of forest growth every day!

Harvesting trees through sustainable forestry

The industry’s perpetual use of trees harvested from responsibly managed forests has a host of economic, social and environmental benefits. For example;

•  It discourages the sell-off of land for non-forest development
•  It encourages sustainable forestry practices and it supports hundreds of thousands of jobs
•  Responsibly managed forests are necessary for the maintenance of biodiversity and ecosystems services, both on individual sites and within the wider landscape

Sustainable forest management is commonly viewed as one of the most important contributions that the forestry sector can make to sustainable development. The future of a thriving print and paper industry, and all its economic spin-offs, also depends on well managed and healthy forests.

Forests play an important role in mitigating climate change by absorbing carbon from the atmosphere. Europe’s forests absorb around 7% of the annual greenhouse gas emissions from the region. The area of protected forests is expanding, and forest management practices increasingly promote conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.

Paper is one of the few truly sustainable products

Paper is made from a natural resource that is renewable, recyclable and compostable. It has been an integral part of our cultural development and is essential for modern life. As well as this, paper is made from renewable resources, and responsibly produced and used paper has many advantages over other, non-renewable alternative resources.

The benefits of paper recycling include:

•  Extending the supply of wood fibre
•  Reducing greenhouse gas emissions that can contribute to climate change by avoiding methane emissions (which are released when paper decomposes in landfills or is incinerated)
•  Contributing to carbon sequestration
•  Reducing the amount of energy needed to produce some paper products; and saving considerable landfill space

Our sector is the largest industrial producer of bioenergy, generating 20% of the biomass based energy in Europe. Not only this, the print and paper industry accounts for only 1.1% of global carbon dioxide emissions.

The conclusion

Avoiding the use of wood is not the way to protect forests for the long term. While saving trees and protecting forests is a widely shared goal, avoiding the use of wood is not necessarily the way to get there. It is precisely the areas of the world that consume the least wood that continue to experience the greatest forest loss.

To find out more information visit www.twosides.info - You can also read all their Myths and Facts here.

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